Do any of you do these Listography books? I picked up the music one at Nepenthe’s last year. Some lists are pretty easy to fill out while others, like records I’d take with me on a spaceship seem more random and circumspect to the time they’re completed in. I really want to believe Bernstein’s classic Music of our time is a good choice for no. 20 but keep thinking on a different day I would’ve chosen Soliloquy by Paul Dunmall or something else different than this present list.
Now perhaps another way to look at it is there’s an infinite amount of recordings that have been released throughout the years and more possibilities would mean better eventualities but just like anyone I sort of wish my list to be the best one out there and it would prove difficult to put a list in people’s field of view with the sidenote “List subject to change based upon the author’s current mood”.
But, that’s about what one can expect here. In this case, this just means when I pulled out Leonard Bernstein conducts Music of our Time last week and it was penned in as number 20, it just so happened it was the week that flipping through the B section was less obstructed by other files and such so it was it’s time to again be recognized and played.
But, what’s not to like about this record? From the trippy album art (‘Current’ by Bridget Riley) to the amazing composer and featured artist lineup including bassist Barre Phillips and trumpet player Don Ellis. To mention the caliber of musicians its all to apparent that the objective was to demonstrate the work as ahead of its time. What’s timeless here seems to be the combo of Bernstein, the NY Philharmonic, Morton Feldman, Larry Austin and György Ligeti. There’s also an extended piece that captures an improvisation by the orchestra.